Rob wrote, Of course children will be become better writers if they write personal narratives instead of book reports.
I think, I pray he is being sarcastic with that statement. I know he is, but it got me to wondering.
Yes, the students are always supposed to write about that life experience garbage and make a list of what they can write about because "good writes pick stupid fucking things" from their lives to write about. But how does this help you get a job or show that you understand widgets?
Think years down the road when that student that was abused from years of dealing with the Calkins methodology gets a directive from his boss.
"Jones, I need a report on the widgets we're shipping in from Hong Kong tomorrow, stat!"
Jones, wanting to make his boss happy will undoubtedly say, "Yes sir!" and then proceed to sit at his desk staring into space wondering to himself and scratching his head, "What the fuck is a report?"
Jones scours the Internet to find out how to write that report. Sadly, he has no previous knowledge to assist him and he falls back into familiar habits.
He runs to Staples and buys a black marbled notebook, turns to the front page and writes; "Good writers create reports from life experience about widgets."
He lists everything he knows about widgets excepting the widgets arriving in from Hong Kong the next day.
He then puts pen to paper and and writes his first draft of the report. Sadly it is not a report but more a personal narrative of his knowledge of widgets.
With his first draft, he scampers from cubicle to cubicle in the office looking for a colleague to edit the so-called report. His work colleagues, already with a command of the English language and proper writing mechanics, tell him to "piss off!" whilst laughing hardidly at him.
Ashamed, Jones does the best he can to write the report. When his boss reads it and sees that it is not a report but rather a narrative of Jones' experience with widgets the Boss promptly fires him.
Fired, Jones goes home dejected and explains what happened to his pregnant with twins wife. Fed up at last she tells him that she can not be married to someone so ignorant and promptly orders him to leave their home.
With nowhere to go, Jones moves into the local homeless shelter. He is unable to get Unemployment benefits due to being fired for cause and without medical or dental benefits he can't have the gigantic goiter removed from his neck and see a dental professional for his bleeding gums.
With a goiter and no teeth, not one company will hire Jones. Penniless, homeless, and with a new goiter prominently protruding from the other side of his neck, Jones is left to wander the streets of Morningside Heights ruing the day that his idiot principals, who were mesmerized and brainwashed by Lucy Calkins, allowed him to turn into an writing illiterate.
When things just can't get any worse he sees Lucy Calkins get into her $55k car on Amsterdam Ave. At that moment, he figured out what matters most to Lucy. and it was never him or his classmates.